Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content County commissioners give green light to clerk for legal action in attempted recall of Sen. John Morse

By Debbie Kelley Updated: July 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

El Paso County Commissioners on Tuesday gave County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams and County Attorney Amy Folsom the green light to take more legal action in connection to the state Senate District 11 recall election.

"This allows us to take any sort of action that the clerk and recorder and county attorney agree is necessary to protect the rights of citizens of El Paso County with regards to the recall election," said Ryan Parsell, spokesman for Williams' office.

An election date for the possible recall of Democratic state Sen. John Morse still is undetermined as the two sides in the recall have exercised their appeal rights. Williams filed court papers in Denver last week, calling for an intervention in a lawsuit that is preventing Gov. John Hickenlooper from setting an election date. A hearing with 2nd Judicial District Court Chief Judge Robert S. Hyatt is set for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St., in Denver. The judge will rule on a preliminary injunction that seeks to not have Hickenlooper set an election date until the lawsuit is decided.

Parsell said either Williams or the county attorney expects to be allowed to address the court at the hearing, to present the request to intervene in the case.

Williams said last week he wants to conduct the recall election on Aug. 27 and is concerned that not moving forward now will violate the state constitution, which says that an election date must come within 60 days after the secretary of state's office certifies recall petitions. That happened July 5. Hickenlooper's office interprets the provision as meaning 60 days from when legal issues are resolved.

Williams also believes delaying setting the date will "disenfranchise voters" and not allow enough time for former Colorado Springs City Councilman Bernie Herpin to petition onto the ballot to replace Senate President Morse, in the event that voters decide to remove him from office.

Sen. Angela Giron, a Democrat from Pueblo, also faces possible recall. Both were targeted by ousters for their stances on gun control.

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